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Composer of the Week

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla was not well suited to the role of national musical icon. He was at his happiest, living a simple, monkish existence in his spartan Granada villa; fussing over his music in pleasant isolation or enjoying the company of a few close friends. He was generous but withdrawn, quietly and devotedly religious, and had a horror of being dragged into the violent political conflicts that wracked Spain during the first half of the twentieth century. Falla’s enormous talent and unique musical voice meant he was thrust into the very centre of cultural life, despite himself. He was compelled to navigate his way alongside some of music’s most colourful and potent characters, and through momentous historical events.

Music Featured:

La Vida breve (Intermezzo from Act 1)
Allegro de concierto
Siete canciones populares Españolas No 7 Polo
La Vida Breve (Act 2)
Nancy Fabiola Herrera, mezzo-soprano (Salud)
Cristina Faus, mezzo-soprano (La Abuela)
Aquiles Machado, tenor (Paco)
José Antonio López, baritone (Tío Sarvaor)
Raquel Lojendio, soprano (Carmela)
Josep Miquel Ramon, baritone (Manuel)
Sequndo Falcón, flamenco (El Cantaor)
Gustavo Peña, tenor (Una voz en la fraqua)
El Amor Brujo: Ritual Fire Dance (arr. Falla for piano)
El pan de Ronda que sabe a verdad
Oración de las madres que tienen a sus hijos en brazos
El corregidor y la molinera (extract)
El Amor Brujo (complete)
Noches en los jardines des España, III. En los jardines de la Sierra de Cordoba
Siete canciones populares Españolas: No 1 El paño moruno
Noches en los jardines des España, I. En el Generalife
Fantasia Bética
El sombrero de tres picos (Part II)
Harpsichord Concerto
Soneto a Córdoba
El retablo de maese Pedro
Psyche
Homenaje “Le tombeau de Debussy”
Balada de Mallorca
Atlántida: La Salve en el Mar
Homenajes
El sombrero de tres picos (Part I)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced in Cardiff by Chris Taylor

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) https://ift.tt/3B4xPa1

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

Donald Macleod pulls back the curtain on Berlioz’s greatest obsession

Donald Macleod explores the women who shaped Hector Berlioz’s life and work

Hector Berlioz was one the most innovative and rebellious musicians of 19th century France. He was a man of unwaveringly high expectations, in his wider life as well as his music. As the quintessential Romantic, one friend said that love was the “alpha and omega of his existence”. This week Donald Macleod looks at Berlioz through the passions and relationships that shaped who he was and what he created, exploring the romantic obsessions of an especially obsessive man. We’ll also hear a movement of his Symphonie Fantastique each day – Berlioz’s best known work, and the musical embodiment of his most powerful infatuation.

Music Featured:

Marche Funèbre pour la dernière scène d‘Hamlet (Tristia, Op 18)
Irlande (La belle voyageuse)
Romeo et Juliette – Scène d’amour
Lelio – Choeur d’ombres
Symphonie Fantastique (1st movement – Reveries – Passions)
Fleuve du Tage
Tempest Fantasy
Symphonie Fantastique, arr. Liszt for piano (2nd movement)
Harold in Italy (1st movement – “Harold aux montagnes”)
Requiem: Lacrimosa
Chanson de Brigands (Lelio)
Symphonie Fantastique (3rd movement – Scene aux champs)
Benvenuto Cellini: Overture
La Mort d’Ophélie
Marche Hongroise
Nuits d’été (1. Villanelle, 5. Absence)
Symphonie Fantastique (4th movement – Marche au supplice)
L’Enfance du Christ, Part II : La fuite en Egypte
Béatrice et Bénedict, Act II No 10 : “Dieu, que viens j’entendre?….Il m’en souvient “
Au Cimetière (Nuits d’été)
Rêverie et caprice for violin
Les Troyens : Act IV, Nos 34b-37 (“O blonde Ceres…Nuit d’ivresse”)
Le dépit de la bergère, H. 7
Symphonie Fantastique (5th movement – Songe d’une nuit de sabbat)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) https://ift.tt/3jWRlPz

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Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Donald Macleod explores the musical life of Benjamin Britten

Music Featured:

Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (Nos 7 & 8)
Phantasy Quartet
Nocturne (On This Island)
Ballad of Heroes (2nd mvt)
Suite for Violin and Piano (Lullaby; Waltz)
Hymn to St Cecilia
Calypso
Young Apollo for Piano and Strings
Violin Concerto in D minor (1st & 2nd mvt)
An American Overture
Ceremony of Carols (Nos 7 & 8)
Peter Grimes, Prologue
Peter Grimes, “Old Joe has gone fishing”
Four Sea Interludes, Op 33a
Dark Tower (extract)
Oliver Cromwell (Folk Song Arrangements)
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Peter Grimes, “Embroidery in Childhood”
Albert Herring, “Albert the Good”
Saint Nicolas (excerpt)
Noye’s Fludde, “It is good for to be still”
Lachrymae (reflections on a song by John Dowland)
Canticle ii: Abraham and Isaac
Nocturnal after John Dowland (Passacaglia)
War Requiem, Requiem aeternam
War Requiem, Sanctus
Symphony for cello and orchestra (2nd mvt)
Third Suite for Cello(Passacaglia)
Death in Venice (excerpt)
String Quartet No 3, Op 94 (3rd & 4th mvts)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Martin Williams

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) https://ift.tt/3AmsASz

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

This week, Donald Macleod explores Purcell’s work during his short life in the context of the turbulent times in which he lived. This was a period of intense political and social change, encompassing three different monarchies, the plague, the great fire of London, and the arrival of another deadly pandemic.

Music featured:

Blow up the trumpet in Sion, Z10
Welcome, vicegerent of the mighty king, Z340
Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z135
Sonata a 4 No 4 in D minor, Z805
Theodosius, or The Force of Love, Z606
Morning Service in D, Z232: Te Deum
Rejoice in the Lord alway, Z49 “Bell Anthem”
Lord, What is Man? Z192, “A Divine Hymn”
Thou wakeful shepherd, Z98 “A Morning Hymn”
Now that the sun hath veiled his light, Z193, “An Evening Hymn on a Ground”
Morning Service in D, Z232: Jubilate Deo
I was glad when they said unto me, Z19
Now does the glorious day appear Z332 (opening chorus)
Love’s goddess sure was blind, Z331 (excerpts)
From hardy Climes and dangerous Toils of War Z325 (excerpts)
March and Canzona in C minor, Z860
Dido and Aeneas, Z626 (excerpts)
The Fairy Queen, Z629 (excerpts)
The Indian Queen, Z630 (excerpts)
King Arthur, Z628, “The British Worthy” (excerpts)
The Prophetess, or The History of Dioclesian, Z629 (excerpt)
Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, Z. 860i
Incassum Lesbia, incassum rogas, Z83
Play Music for Abdelazer (excerpts)
From Rosy Bowers

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Iain Chambers

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Henry Purcell (1659-1695) https://ift.tt/3zWEmmy

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Pauline Viardot and her Circle

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the 19th-century French singer, pianist, composer and influential society figure, Pauline Viardot.

“When I want to do something, I do it in spite of water, fire, society, the whole world”, an indicator if ever there was one, of the inner steel of this week’s composer.

Born in 1821, Pauline Viardot possessed an array of exceptional qualities. As one of the opera stars of her age, she was admired from Paris to St Petersburg as a sublime interpreter of Rossini, Bellini, Handel and Gluck. Beyond her incomparable voice, her twice weekly artistic salons were a high point in Parisian cultural life. She knew, and was admired by Chopin, George Sand, Delacroix, Liszt, Fauré, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Saëns to name but a few. While having, according to Saint-Saëns, an unnecessarily modest view of her talent, she was also an accomplished composer. A talented linguist with five languages at her command, her compositions include a substantial body of songs, one or two instrumental works and a series of highly appealing operettas.

This week Donald Macleod will be exploring different facets of her extraordinary life. We’ll be hearing from a range of Viardot’s compositions as well as some of the operatic roles she made famous. He’ll be examining her role in Parisian cultural circles, and her friendships with leading writers among them Charles Dickens, and in particular Ivan Turgenev, and composers such as Berlioz, Saint-Saens, Meyerbeer and Gounod, all of whom created roles specifically for her incredible voice.

Music Featured:

Les filles de Cadix
Scène d’Hermione, Act IV: Je ne t’ai point (pas), Cruel?
Manuel Garcia Snr: La figlia dell’aria: È non lo vedo…. Son regina
Liszt: El Contrabandista Rondo Fantastique sur Un Thème Espagnol, S.252
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia, Act 2, Don Basilio! Cosa veggo? …… briconi, birbanti
Rossini: Otello, Act 3, Sc 1, Canzone del Salice: Assisa a pie d’un salice
Madrid
Hai luli
Six Morceaux (I Romance; II Bohèmienne; III: Berceuse)
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Act 2, Ah! qual colpo inaspettato!
Plainte d’amour (Mazurka in F sharp minor, Op 6, No 1)
L’Oiselet (Mazurka Op 68, No 2)
La Séparation (Mazurka no 14 in G minor Op 24, No 1)
Rossini: La Cenerentola, Overture
3 Mörike Songs (no 1. In der Frühe; No 2. Nixe Binsefuss)
Berçeuse-cosaque
Golden glow of the mountain peaks
Do not sing, my beauty, to me
Rossini: Il barbiere di siviglia, Act 1, No 5,Una voce poco fa
Le dernier sorcier, Act 1, No 1 Par ici; No 2 Chanson de Lelio; No 3 Romance de la Reine
12 songs of Pushkin, Fet and Turgenev (No 1, Tsvetok)
5 poems of Lermontov & Turgenev (No 1, Na zare)
10 poems of Pushkin, Lermontov, Koltsov, Tyutchev and Fet (No 3, Ya lyubila yego)
12 poems of Pushkin, Fet and Turgenev (No 4, Polunochnyye obrazy)
Bellini: La sonnambula, Act 1 (excerpts)
Évocation
Le dernier sorcier, Act 2 Finale
Gounod: Sapho, Act 3, O ma lyre immortelle….
Saint-Saens: Samson et Dalila, Act 1, Printemps qui commence (Dalila, The Old Hebrew)
Meyerbeer: Le prophète, Act 5 Sc 2, 3 & 4
Fauré: Puisqu’ici-bas toutes âme
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Act 2, O sink herneider, Nacht der liebe
Brahms: Alto Rhapsody
Violin Sonatina in A Minor (Allegro finale)
Cendrillon (excerpts)
Gluck, ed Berlioz: Orphée, Act 1, Sc 4, Amour, viens rendre à mon âme

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Pauline Viardot and Her Circle https://ift.tt/3q71w4W

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Robert Simpson (1921-97)

Robert Simpson – once described as “Britain’s most important composer since Vaughan Williams”, and “one of the century’s most powerful and original symphonists” – was a man of integrity, a champion of lesser-known composers, and a man who lived his own life by strict principles: pacifism, socialism and what he called “anti-pessimism”. This week, in Simpson’s centenary year, Donald Macleod looks back at the life and work of Robert Simpson – from his childhood in the Salvation Army, to his experiences as a conscientious objector during the Second World War. He explores Simpson’s writings on music and on life, and his time working at the BBC, before his break from the Corporation and from this country. Along the way we’ll hear from Simpson’s considerable body of work, which included no fewer than 11 Symphonies and 15 String Quartets.

Music Featured:

Symphony No 4 (II. Presto)
In Media Morte in Vita Sumus
Energy (IV. Allegro molto; V. Presto vivo)
Symphony No 6 (excerpt)
Canzona for Brass
Symphony No 1 (excerpt)
String Quartet No 10 “for peace” (III. Molto Adagio)
Symphony No 5 (Canone II – Adagio)
Piano Sonata (III. Allegro Vivace)
Allegro Deciso for String Orchestra
The Four Temperaments (I. Scherzo (Sanguine); II. Intermezzo Allegro (Phlegmatic))
Symphony No 3 (II. Adagio – Andante – Allegretto)
String Quartet No 6 (I. Adagio)
Symphony No 8 (II. Scherzo)
Michael Tippett, His Mystery
Variations on a theme by Carl Nielsen
Eppur si muove for organ (Ricercar)
String Quartet No 13 (IV. Andante)
Symphony No 9 (excerpt)
Quintet for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and String Trio (I. Adagio tranquillo)
Symphony 7 (excerpt)
Vortex

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Sam Phillips

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Robert Simpson (1921-97) https://ift.tt/3ppnXC7

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

Donald Macleod explores some of the many turning points in Fauré’s career

Gabriel Fauré’s story begins during the second half of the 19th century, when the musical world was dominated by the heavily romantic voices of composers like Wagner, Brahms and Liszt. Fauré became a key protagonist in a musical revolution that opened audiences ears to new modes of expression – modern, refined and utterly French. As a composer, and as a teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, he left a huge legacy on the music of the twentieth century. This week Donald Macleod explores some of the many turning points in Fauré’s career, and how those events affected his life and his art.

Music Featured:

Tarentelle, “Aux cieux la lune monte et luit” Op 10, No 2
Violin Sonata No 1 in A, Op 13
Élégie in C minor, Op 24
Berceuse, Op 16
Après un rêve, Op 7, No 1
Automne, Op 18 No 3
Poème d’un jour, Op 21 No 1-3
Souvenirs de Bayreuth
Piano Quartet No 1 in C minor, Op 15
Ballade in F sharp, Op 19
Les roses d’lspahan, Op 39, No 4
Papillon, Op 77
Pavane, Op 50
Clair de lune, Op 46, No 2
Spleen Op 51, No 3
Mandoline, Op 58, No 1
Requiem, Op 48
Le parfum impérissable, Op 76, No 1
Dolly Suite, Op 56
Fantaisie, Op 79
Pelléas et Mélisande, Op 80
Nocturne No 6 in D flat, Op 63
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op 11
Le Chanson d’Ève, Op 96, No 1-5
Pénélope (Prelude)
Violin Sonata No 2 in E minor, Op 108 (Andante)
Masques et bergamasques, Op 112

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock, for BBC Wales

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) https://ift.tt/3woVoHj

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Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Robert Schumann’s early training was focused towards his ambition to become a celebrated concert pianist, but a hand injury quickly put that career option out of reach. Schumann turned instead to composition and put all that piano study to good use, writing many important works for his own instrument. This week, Composer of the Week unpacks the moments in Schumann’s life when he was creating some of his most famous and notable piano works, including one of the most iconic Romantic pianos concertos of all time.

Music Featured:

So wahr die Sonne scheinet, Op 37 No 12 (from Zwölf Gedichte aus Liebesfrüling)
Symphony in G minor, WoO 29 (Zwickau)
Allegro in B minor, Op 8
Carnaval, Op 9
Kreisleriana, Op 16 No 8 (Schnell und spielend)
Fantasy in C, Op 17 No 1
Drei Gesänge, Op 31
Kinderszenen, Op 15
Myrthen, Op 25 No 1 (Widmung)
Symphony No 1 in B flat, Op 38 (Spring) (excerpt)
Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op 26 No 5 (Finale)
Piano Quintet in E flat, Op 44
The Merry Peasant, Op 68 No 10 (from Album für die Jugend)
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 54
Symphony No 2 in C major, Op 61 (Scherzo)
Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 63 (excerpt)
Manfred Overture, Op 115
Drei Fantasiestücke, Op 111
Missa Sacra in C minor, Op 147 (Gloria & Credo)
Introduction and Allegro, Op 134

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock, for BBC Wales

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Robert Schumann (1810-1856) https://ift.tt/3hl7nl0

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

This week, Donald Macleod explores Aaron Copland’s most productive decade, and features some of his best loved works in full. During this time Copland hit his prime. He became recognised as America’s leading composer, winning the Pulitzer Prize in Music and an Academy Award for his work in Hollywood.

He toured Europe and South America, absorbing diverse influences from each, and composed key works including his Symphony No.3, Appalachian Spring, Lincoln Portrait, Fanfare for the Common Man and Rodeo.

We get a sense of how Copland’s personal and professional interests developed over the 1940s and learn about his friendships and challenges during and in the aftermath of World War II.

Music Featured:

John Henry: A Railroad Ballet for Orchestra
Quiet City
Piano Sonata
Our Town
Music for Movies
Lincoln Portrait
Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes
Danzón Cubano – (version for 2 pianos)
Las Agachadas (The Shake-Down Song)
Sonata for violin and piano
Fanfare for the Common Man
Appalachian Spring Suite (version for 13 instruments)
Letter From Home
The Red Pony Suite
Third Symphony (2nd & 3rd mvt)
The Heiress Suite
Preamble for a Solemn Occasion
Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (Nos 4, 5 & 12)
An Outdoor Overture (version for wind ensemble)
Four Piano Blues
Clarinet Concerto

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Iain Chambers

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Aaron Copland (1900-1990) https://ift.tt/3h8xBqF

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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